Patriotism fuels 40 years of teaching

25 Jun, 2022 - 00:06 0 Views
Patriotism fuels 40 years of teaching Mrs Cynthia Nkala-Khumalo

The Chronicle

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
GROWING up in a family of teachers made Mrs Cynthia Nkala-Khumalo, the headmistress of Chinotimba Primary School in Victoria Falls, develop a strong passion for the profession which she takes as a calling.

Chinotimba Primary School

She is the current president of the National Association of Primary School Heads (Naph), a position she has held since 2016.

Mrs Nkala-Khumalo (63) has been a school head at Baobab from 1995 to 2000 and at Chinotimba from 2000 to date. Both schools are in Victoria Falls.

To her, there is fulfilment in watching children develop from pre-school to university.

Some of her former students are teachers, engineers and scientists among others.

After training as a primary school teacher at Bondolfi Teachers’ College in Masvingo where she finished in 1980, Mrs Nkala-Khumalo first taught at Tsholotsho Secondary School and said Mr Sicelo Dube, the current head of the school was her student.

While she reckons how the teaching field has evolved over the years through improvements in methods of teaching, mordenisation of education and use of technology, her passion has remained rooted in patriotism to her country.

“My mother was a teacher.

They were 14 in their family and one of her younger sisters and four younger brothers were teachers and they all married teachers.

So, we grew up seeing them and admired their lifestyles.

They had houses and cars and to us that was an inspiration.

As I went through the education system, I developed a passion to see children grow through my hands to become engineers, doctors and teachers.

“Being a teacher is fulfilling. It brings pride to know that I have taught several people that have made it big in various professions and became what they are today,” said Mrs Nkala-Khumalo.

Lumene primary school

She was born in Matshetsheni, where she did her primary education at Stanmore and Lumene primary schools, before going to Luveve Secondary School in Bulawayo.

She has taught at six different schools in Bulawayo and Matabeleland North in her career spanning over 40 years to become one of the few loyal public service workers.

Mrs Nkala-Khumalo said being a teacher in modern day Zimbabwe is better than back then when schools were still few and teachers walked long distances when going to their stations some which had no water, electricity, internet and other basic needs.

After graduating, she taught for a year at Tsholotsho High as there was a shortage of secondary school teachers and primary school trained graduates could assist in secondary schools.

She was transferred to 2 Infantry Battalion at Llewellyn Barracks, now Lookout Masuku for another year before being moved to Induba Primary in Bulawayo and then Barham Green Primary where she spent 10 years before being transferred to Chinotimba in 1993.

“After a month at Chinotimba they wanted to transfer me to Lupane on promotion but I didn’t go because my husband was now in Victoria Falls.

So, I was posted to Baobab primary as an acting head for two years.

“I was promoted to deputy head level one and was supposed to go to Thomas Coulter in Hwange but the regional director then gave me an option to remain at Baobab as a school head level two which is equivalent to deputy head one and I agreed,” said Mrs Nkala-Khumalo.

She was at Baobab until 2000 in March when she became substantive head for Chinotimba, a mega school with an annual average enrolment of 1 500 pupils.

At some stage the school had 2 000 learners and its highest pass rate under Mrs Nkala-Khumalo’s reign was 65.2 percent.

Victoria Falls City Council

Mrs Nkala-Khumalo said she and her husband, a retired Victoria Falls City Council employee have worked hard to accumulate wealth through investments from their salaries.

She is a successful farmer together with her husband with more than 250 cattle at their plot in Lupane.

They also own a number of houses in Victoria Falls and Bulawayo.

“I still feel I can do it but I have done my part and I have to rest now.

I want to retire at 65 years of age.

There is a lot of pressure in being a school head and I want to wake up at home without too much pressure and do something light like play with grandchildren,” said the mother of three.

Her hard work and interest in sport, teaching in general and affairs in education saw her become the first female teacher to become Naph chair in Hwange district and Matabeleland North province.

She and Mrs Laina Kadzianike of Mashonaland Central, who is Naph treasurer are the only females in the Naph national executive.

Mrs Nkala-Khumalo said women can match men if given the opportunity.

She said it was through inclusion of female executive members in Naph that Zimbabwe primary schools sport is now well-known regionally.

“To me that is an achievement which we hope will be carried on.

Also, the relationship between Naph and Nash was strengthened by our coming in as we encouraged cooperation,” she said.

She said when her retirement comes, she will find solace in the fact that she remained patriotic to her country where she committed herself to contribute to the country’s education than teach in a foreign land.–@ncubeleon

Share This: